The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters
Quick Hit Off-Broadway Review By: Lauren Yarger
What’s It all About?
Bet you didn’t know there was a patron saint of sea monsters. No one does, except for Aubrey Lincoln (Laura Heisler), who regularly dons wedding dresses, lights candles and prays to St. Martyr Bride for the perfect husband.
She might need the help of saints when she takes up with her "soulmate," alcoholic Calvin Little (Rob Campbell), who calls her Audrey and who just might have killed his last wife. Mothers aren’t any help here. Aubrey’s controlling mom, Lynette (Candy Buckley), shares her daughter’s diary with the family priest and Calvin’s repulsive, sociopath mother, Helen (also Buckley) is evil incarnate. The couple is surrounded by a bunch of loony tunes too — Calvin’s best friends are Speedy (Danny Wolohan), who’s not exactly Speedy in the brain department, and Canadian Bill (Hayes Thigpen) who has a crush on Aubrey. Aubrey’s best friend is Penny (Jacqueline Wright), the abused wife of Calvin’s brother, Jack (Wolohan), who takes after his mother. Her landlady is Mrs. Carlsen (Buckley again), who let’s Aubrey stay on even when she gives her rent money to Calvin and despite the objections of her crazy daughter, Molly (Wright). Mrs. Carlsen’s son, Tom (Thigpen) helps out by providing physic predictions. There even are some forest and sea creatures who come to visit….
What are the Highlights?
A fine ensemble cast, ably directed by Peterson, who keeps the pace just right for the two-hour-15-minute-show. Complete transitions between multiple characters are made with the help of costuming by Paloma Young. Whimsical set design by Rachel Hauck includes everything from a forest to an ocean to puppet creatures.
What are the Lowlights?
It’s a bit on the bizarre side without definitive focus. If you toss aside any thoughts of reality, however, you can enjoy this humorous, if unclear glimpse into backwoods family life we might not otherwise experience.
The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters By Marlayne Meyer and Directed by Lisa Peterson plays at Playwrights Horizons, 416 West 42nd St., NYC through Dec.1. http://www.playwrightshorizons.org/shows/plays/patron-saint-sea-monsters/.